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Season 2023-24
Manchester City (h) Premier League


Saturday 13th January 2024, 5.30pm
Live on TNT Sports

St. James' Park

Conditions: Discombobulated


Manchester City


2 - 3




26 mins Kyle Walker was given excessive room by Dan Burn on the City right and sent over a low cross that Bernado Silva back-heeled into the Gallowgate End goal from six yards out. 0-1

35 mins Fabian Schar's persistence saw him progress down the right before switching play infield to Bruno, whose glorious first-time ball found Alexander Isak.  He cut infield from the left and stylishly curled the ball into the top right hand corner of the net from inside the area. 1-1

37 mins An aimless ball into the centre circle by Newcastle saw Isak win possession and push a pass out to Dan Burn towards the left flank but still in his own half. His first-time ball forward gave Anthony Gordon a free run down the left hand channel and he galloped forward, arriving in the City area as Kyle Walker came to meet him.

Gordon simply took a couple of steps infield to his right before dispatching a fine shot into the same right hand side of the goal as Isak had done 139 seconds earlier.

Half time: Magpies 2 City 1

74 mins
An equaliser of stunning simplicity and flawless execution; Kevin De Bruyne took Rodri's pass, looked up and beat Martin Dubravka with a low shot from the edge of the box at the Leazes end. An effort from similar range at that end by City's Yaya Toure in 2012 came to mind. 2-2

90+1 mins
Oscar Bobb ghosted into the left hand side of the Newcastle area and was picked out by a laser-guided delivery from De Bruyne. The City substitute still had plenty to do, but eluded Kieran Trippier before shimmying round Dubravka and touching home. 2-3

Full time:  Magpies 2 City 3

We Said

Eddie Howe said:

"I think we have (seen that before)

"There was so much promise and so many good things, so to be sat here with nothing is very, very painful. The lads have given so much physically in that game.

"The first half was everything that we want to be. We wanted to be aggressive and front foot. When you do that, you take risks, but those risks were worth it. You could see that it paid off at the other end.

"We still wanted to do that in the second half, we still wanted to play the same way, but we just couldn�t deliver that in the second half.

"It was a really good first-half performance from us. End-to-end, brave football. We probably ran out of gas in the second half.

"It looked like we had done enough for the point, with the way we defended you'd have backed us to see it out but we couldn't do it in the end.

"We are limited from the bench at the moment. The lads gave a lot in the first half, we looked really good, we just probably couldn't sustain it.

"That's the quality they have, but you have to find a way. You just hoped we could see it out and get a really good point.

"In the first half, physically we were causing them problems. We were stretching their back line. We had chances when we got the lead were in a really good moment but we couldn't sustain it.

"The frustration from us you could see what we can be at times but we haven't been able to put that together for the last month and it has cost us. You accept that but of course we need some players back and to lift the group.

"We just have to continue in the same form as today really. There's not a lot wrong with our performances. You can see today we are a top team. 

"The group is in a good place, I don't see any negativity. I see hurt because we aren't winning and that's what we're here to do. We had a good win in the FA Cup last week and that boosted us for today.

"I�m in a difficult position where I�m thinking, do I bring a defender on, which can potentially be viewed as a negative substitution. It�s generally a negative move when you take off an attacking player, and I didn�t really want to do that.

�I was hoping that Miggy (Almiron), Anthony (Gordon) and Alex (Isak) could still be a threat in the match, even though they�d given a lot in that first half.

"I wanted to keep them on the pitch because of what they delivered for the majority of the game. I think if we draw the game and see the last three minutes out, then it�s probably not talked about as much. But unfortunately, it�s cost us."

On Alexander Isak:

"The goal was very reminiscent of Alan, really, the finish that he delivered. He can go on, I think, to achieve incredible things in his career. He�s got so much more to offer.

"He�s probably getting back to 100% fit � I wouldn�t say he�s totally there yet. He�s had his own injury troubles this season, but the last two performances and the goals that he�s scored offers a glimpse, really, of his capabilities. He is really the all-round striker, in my opinion.

"Alex is an outstanding individual. His goal was of the highest level, and I thought his energy and his overall performance was outstanding. I thought he was a constant menace.

"He showed his ability to run, he showed his ability to link play and he showed his ability to finish. I�m just disappointed that we couldn�t get him into more dangerous situations in that second half because he could have made the difference for us."

They Said


Pep Guardiola said:

"I think everyone is agreed we had a lot of pressure here at St James' Park against Newcastle - the most physicality of a team we saw.

"They made transitions when we concede two goals and the keeper saved the ball and they make two passes - like Liverpool. But what is the difference is if we perform like we did today, we're going to win.

"As a manager, what could I say at half-time? You are amazing. Stick with it and we will do it, but it was the same against Spurs, Palace, Liverpool. We drop points and at that moment it's a big crisis for you.

"No words to describe the performance. We are judged on the performance. A win will be judged. The mentality and what we are able to do. We proved our qualities.

"It was weird but we took the game in our control, we arrived in small pockets really well. We conceded two goals on the transition, they are similar to Liverpool.

"Stick to the plan, continue to do it and the magic from Kevin (De Bruyne) and Oscar (Bobb) came.

"I'm so grumpy and upset with Kevin because his first touch was a free-kick and he couldn't score. Phil Foden was outstanding. Everyone was really good. When opponents are more tired, Kevin and Oscar provide another pace at the end.

"Oscar's was a fantastic goal for the control. We were really impressed in pre-season, I knew from information for the second team he was special. When Kevin has the ball and we have runners, Kevin is unique in the world but the finish by Oscar, I am so, so happy for him."


Newcastle incurred successive PL home defeats for the first time under Eddie Howe. The last time they lost twice in a row in the PL at SJP was in October 2021 (beaten 2-3 by Spurs under Steve Bruce and then 0-3 by Chelsea under Graeme Jones).

The 48th PL meeting of these two sides ended with Newcastle losing for the 31st time. The remaining 17 games saw eight Toon victories and nine draws. 

The 191st meeting of these two sides puts City just one behind Arsenal in the list of our most frequent opponents. Bernado Silva's opener was their 100th league goal at St. James' Park.

Alexander Isak's fourteenth goal of the season in all competitions was his 10th PL strike of 2023/24 - matching his PL tally last season.

The Swede reached his half century of appearances in all competitions for United, during which he's hit 24 goals - two more than colleague Callum Wilson managed in his first 50 outings as a Magpie. 

Isak's 20 PL goals for the club leave him two shy of Laurent Robert and three off Miguel Almiron and Kieron Dyer. The next four beyond them are Michael Owen on 26, Craig Bellamy on 27, Obafemi Martins on 28 and Demba Ba/Gary Speed on 29.

Anthony Gordon hit his seventh PL goal of the season and eighth in that competition. That takes him level with Philippe Albert, Ciaran Clark, Lee Clark, Duncan Ferguson and Temuri Ketsbaia.

This isn't the first time that City's Oscar Bobb has netted the winner against Newcastle, his first goal at U18 level giving City U18s a 1-0 win on Tyneside back in October 2020.

Two goals in 139 seconds isn't our most rapid sequence of scoring this season; that accolade still belongs to Jamaal Lascelles and Joelinton, who netted within 90 seconds of each other at home to Chelsea back in November. 

Citizens in Toon - PL era:

2023/24 Lost 2-3 Isak, Gordon
Won 1-0 Isak (LC)
2022/23 Drew 3-3 Almiron, Wilson, Trippier
2021/22 Lost 0-4
2020/21 Lost 3-4 Krafth, Joelinton(pen), Willock
2019/20 Lost 0-2 (FAC)
2019/20 Drew 2-2 Willems, Shelvey
2018/19 Won 2-1 Rondon, Ritchie (pen)
2017/18 Lost 0-1
2015/16 Drew 1-1 Anita
2014/15 Lost 0-2
2013/14 Lost 0-2
2013/14 Lost 0-2 (LC)
2012/13 Lost 1-3 Ba
2011/12 Lost 0-2
2010/11 Lost 1-3 Carroll
2008/09 Drew 2-2 Ameobi, og(Dunne)
2007/08 Lost 0-2
2006/07 Lost 0-1
2005/06 Won 1-0 Owen
2004/05 Won 4-3 Robert, Shearer, Elliott, Bellamy
2003/04 Won 3-0 Shearer 2, Ameobi
2002/03 Won 2-0 Shearer, Bellamy
2001/02 Won 1-0 Solano (FAC)
2000/01 Lost 0-1
1995/96 Won 3-1 Ferdinand 2, Beardsley
1994/95 Drew 0-0
1994/95 Won 3-1 Gillespie 2, Beresford (FA)
1994/95 Lost 0-2 (LC)
1993/94 Won 2-0 Cole 2

A ninth PL yellow card for Bruno Guimaraes leaves him just one booking off a two game suspension. Two behind him on seven bookings is Anthony Gordon. In addition to the lengthy list of absences due to fitness issues Newcastle were reportedly without Tino Livramento due to illness.



Oscar winner

The visit of the reigning champions to to Tyneside on Saturday night ended with Eddie Howe's side losing for the fourth successive time in the Premier League. That may not have been a shock, but the way in which this latest defeat unfolded least until reality caught up with the home side.

An eventful evening got off to an explosive beginning when Sean Longstaff forced home Alexander Isak's right wing cross after just two minutes, only for an offside flag to rapidly stifle celebrations. Rather than a VAR call though, the delay in restarting the game came due to an injury to Ederson; who had come off second best in a collision with Longstaff.

The Brazilian custodian continued with a strapped knee but his lack of movement quickly became apparent and he made way for Stefan Ortega, who in goal when the Sky Blues lost here in the Carabao Cup last September.

That early setback inspired City into waves of pressing, punctuated by occasional home attacks; the hosts threatening whenever they could gain possession.

The breakthrough came with United still moaning about the failure of Anthony Gordon to win a free kick on their left just over half way; Kyle Walker promptly punishing them as he was again afforded space by Dan Burn on the City right, pinging over a low cross that Bernado Silva back-heeled in.

Martin Dubravka then got a hand to divert another effort from Silva onto the Gallowgate goal frame, as what looked like a long night for home fans began to unfold.

What followed though was nothing short of sensational; United transitioning from hopeful bursts down the right with no end product to unleashing two goal of the season contenders within three minutes.

First, Fabian Schar's persistence saw him progress down the right before switching play infield to Bruno, whose glorious first-time ball found Isak. He cut infield from the left and stylishly curled the ball into the top right hand corner of the net for his fifth goal in four games.

History then rapidly repeated itself as Gordon rattled home an equally wonderful shot from similar range to improbably put the hosts 2-1 ahead.

The visitors looked all at sea and Newcastle sought to press home their advantage; Isak denied by Ortega and a series of charges into the City area narrowly failing to produce further efforts on goal.

Had a third home goal arrived then, the second half may have been slightly less reminiscent of continually stepping out into path of oncoming traffic. As it was though, an increasingly animated Pep Guardiola lasted just over an hour before introducing Kevin De Bruyne from the bench - the player stripped and ready when Ortega foiled Isak from a rare home attack. 

The Belgian failed to make the instant impact that he'd hoped for, sending the free kick that was his first Premier League touch since August into the wall.  

However the vital breakthrough for him and his side wasn't long in arriving, De Bruyne taking just five minutes to direct a low 18 yarder home through the legs of Schar with deceptive ease. The damage was done by Rodri, whose simple ball forward exploited the space between Newcastle's defensive and midfield lines - an ongoing issue observed up by fans, pundits and opposition teams.

With 16 minutes of normal time remaining there were several candidates to be replaced: Bruno in danger of dismissal after picking up his sixth successive booking in all competitions and messrs Longstaff, Miley and Gordon all in varying stages of exhaustion. 

However, there were no viable alternatives on a bench populated by goalkeepers, defenders, Matt Ritchie and a rookie - forcing the starting XI to soldier on in search of a point, and ultimately be found out once again. 

The PA announcement of (just) three added minutes had barely ended before before the name of Manchester City was added to a list of post-90 minute sickeners for Newcastle this season that already comprised Liverpool, PSG and Chelsea.

Dubravka had kept his side on course for a hard-earned point with a couple of decent stops but was powerless when substitute Oscar Bobb seized on De Bruyne's spectacular pass and shimmied round him to win it with his first-ever PL goal. Simply shattering, but sadly a logical conclusion.

The expression "free hit" has been bandied around at various points this season in connection with Newcastle, but tonight was probably as near as we'll get to it. Rather than a full post-mortem and the staring into a pint type of soul-searching that followed the Luton and Forest losses, this was more akin to the shoulder-shrugging, what do you really expect aftermath of the Anfield defeat. 

History will show that three meetings this season against Guardiola's megabucks team were decided by one goal and we managed to win one. In the context of our recent history that is success and in stark contrast to Jonjo Shelvey shooting from the kick-off before a mass retreat backwards....

Where reality will bite for Howe & Co. though is in the next run of league games, when points need to be taken from meetings with Aston Villa, Luton, Forest and Bournemouth. There's an expectation that his side will return to winning ways, but it's an age since we dismantled Unai Emery's lot at SJP and losses at the hands of the other trio of teams remain fresh in the mind. What sticks in our mind is failing the test that Luton set us at Kenilworth Road, of breaking them down and scoring.

Those tests will come against a backdrop of increased player availability (hopefully) but also offset by the inevitable loss of Bruno to suspension. Confirmation of how honest our recent public statements about being financially hamstrung on signings are will also be evident by then as the window closes. Is it politically expedient to be talking about needing to trade or are we dampening expectations to the point where not making any signings is a cause for relief due to a lack of departures?

The next fortnight may bring some much needed downtime, but the reboot increasingly looks as if it will need to come from within, on the training pitch and via the tactics board. Expect that old line about a fit-again player being like a new signing to be dusted off.....

Despite the run of losses we're still peering upwards at the league table - if and when that changes to looking over our shoulders at those behind us the mood may darken considerably. There's merit in the claims of those seeing green shoots from our opening three games of 2024, but equally some mileage in the gripes of self-appointed medical experts among us querying training methods etc.  


Page last updated 29 January, 2024